It was a five day stretch that will live on forever for the Tom family, as Kaneohe’s Ka’ai Tom made his long awaited Major League Baseball debut with the Oakland Athletics were in four games, he ran the spectrum of experiences.
There for every single moment was his his proud mother Bobbie.
“For me as a Mom, it’s sharing the moment with your child that is so big that it’s more than a major league debut. It is his goals. It is seeing him reach his goals and push his boundaries and set more goals for himself. So, I’m really proud of him and his resiliency and love of the game. I think that’s helped him during the tough spots when he was in the minor leagues,” Tom told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello.
She made the trip to witness the rookie outfielder appear in four of the green-and-gold’s games against the Astros and Dodgers. She saw the Saint Louis graduate made his first start on Friday and connecting on his first big league hit on Monday which also served as the first RBI of his career.
Perhaps even more memorable than that though was what took place on Sunday, where in a lopsided loss to Houston, Tom was called in to pitch for the first time since his American Legion days as a teenager.
“I don’t think I could have dreamed that. That was like, what is going on? I actually thought it was like the seventh inning funny coming up,” said Bobbie Tom. “I mean I saw him, because I notice everything about him and I saw him waking to the mound and I was like, why is he going there? And I thought maybe he’s going to give a glove to a one of his teammates and then run to the outfield and then he picked up the ball and I said maybe that’s the ball that he needs and then he went on the mound and I looked at his girlfriend Brittany and I said, what is going on here? Ka’ai has never pitched.”
Despite the confusion and concern, Tom delivered, posting a scoreless frame in the ninth inning allowing just one hit against the top of the Astros lineup.
“When he threw the first pitch in like oh my gosh. So I turned around and I said after every pitch I’m going to celebrate it because this is huge for him. He was pitching against the top of the lineup, so you have Altuve and all of these people and it was crazy.”
Bobbie says she will remain on the road watching Ka’ai’s first homestand before the team leaves for Houston on Thursday but has future return trips planned both in Oakland and in visiting cities where family members reside.